December 2014 ISM Services Index Declines - Slightly Below Forecast Range

January 6th, 2015
in aa syndication, ism surveys

Written by

The ISM non-manufacturing (aka ISM Services) index continues its growth cycle, but declined moderately from 59.3 to 56.2 (above 50 signals expansion). Important internals likewise contracted.

This was slightly below the range of market forecasts of 57.0 to 59.0 (consensus 58.0).

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November 2014 Manufacturing Declines For the Fourth Month. Unadjusted Data Looks Bad.

Written by

US Census says manufacturing new orders declined. Our analysis agrees. The data has been soft for four months in a row. Consider that this data is noisy - and the rolling averages (which include transport) are decelerating. 

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Stratfor: Saudi Arabia Faces Challenges in the New Year

January 6th, 2015
in stratfor, middle east

by Michael Nayebi-Oskoui

The Middle East is one of the most volatile regions in the world - it is no stranger to upheaval. The 2009 uprisings in Iran and the brinksmanship of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's government were followed by the chaos of the Arab Spring, the spillover of the Syrian conflict into Iraq and a potential realignment of the U.S.-Iranian relationship. Unlike recent years, however, 2015 is likely to see regional Sunni Arab interests realign toward a broader acceptance of moderate political Islam. The region is emerging from the uncertainty of the past half-decade, and the foundations of its future are taking shape. This process will not be neat or orderly, but changes are clearly taking place surrounding the Syrian and Libyan conflicts, as well as the region's anticipation of a strengthened Iran.

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A Thermodynamic View of Money

Heat Sinks and Debt Sinks

by Reverse Engineer, Doomstead Diner

Discuss this article at the Economics Table inside the Diner

A while back, I tried to clarify the way Money works as a Proxy for Energy in the Money Valve series, in which I took a detailed look at how the various facets of our Industrial system conspire to turn Resources into Waste over time.

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Confusing Accounting Identities With Behavioral Equations

January 4th, 2015
in macroeconomics

Fixing the Economists Article of the Week

by Philip Pilkington

Here’s an interesting little debate from earlier this year that I came across yesterday evening. It is between a number of market analysts over whether the current stock market is overvalued. Why is that interesting? Because the argument is focused on one of the best known foundational stones of heterodox economics: the Levy-Kalecki profit equation.

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